Are You Expecting Too Much From Your Ex?

Are you expecting too much from your ex and pushing your ex further away, or worse; completely turning your ex off?

Many of my clients don’t like it when I say to them, “The cause of your anxiety is not your ex “. The course of your anxiety is that you are expecting too much from your ex.

Our expectations, especially our unexpressed expectations cause more problems in our relationships than many of us realize.

Just think about it. Every time you’ve felt rejected and unwanted by someone you love; it’s because someone didn’t do what you expected them to do. They didn’t call, didn’t say the words you hoped they’d say, didn’t remember your birthday; or forgot to mention something etc. And the times you’ve felt so loved and wanted where when they met your expectations and beyond.

Should you have any relationship expectations at all?

My opinion is: yes, you must absolutely have expectations for your relationship.

  1. Relationship expectations are the give and take currency of a healthy relationship.
  2. Relationship expectations challenge us to be and do our best for the sake of the relationship.

Without expectations, the relationship is like to “whom it may concern” letter. You hope that someone will read it and respond, but chances are no one will.

In other words, having expectations is not the problem. Who has expectations and what expectations is what creates most relationship problems. Most people who have problems with relationship expectations are people who have not communicated their expectations to the concerned party; or are communicated but not clearly. And sometimes you communicate your expectations but somewhere things changed and you did not tell the other person that your expectations have changed.

Some expectations are rational, healthy and realistic

When you are trying to get back your ex, there are things you expect from your ex. For example, you expect your ex to:

  • Reply to text message
  • Respond to your text messages within a certain time
  • Initiate contact
  • Meet you or ask you to hangout or on a date
  • Come back etc

These are perfectly rational, healthy and realistic expectations. When these expectation are not met, it’s natural to feel some amount of anxiety; and even worry about your chances of getting back together.

Are you expecting too much from your ex?

1. Expecting too much from your ex is when you let little things become an issue; or make you lose sight of the bigger picture. Little things like your ex:

  1. Replying to a text 2 hours later instead of 2 minutes
  2. Not calling when they said they’d call
  3. Saying they are not ready to meet face-to-face
  4. Being scared of getting back together etc.

2. You also expect too much from your ex when you let these little annoyances dictate how you act towards your ex.

3. You expect too much from your ex when you try to force an realistic and unachievable outcome that meets your expectations. In the process of trying to force the outcome you want; you end up pushing your ex further away or worse.

How do you know if you are expecting too much from your ex?

You know you’re expecting too much from your ex when you consistently feel disappointed and let down by your ex. Sometimes your ex may be making an effort to reach out or make you feel loved but because you expect too much of your ex, you don’t see the effort they are making.

Taking a step back and asking yourself is what I am asking expecting from my ex, at this stage in the process realistic, reasonable and achievable is a good way to manage your expectations.

RELATED:

Why You’re Needy When Your Ex Does Not Respond (What to Do)

Attract Back An Avoidant Ex:1 – Attachment Styles Can Help

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  1. says: Magdalena

    Thank you,
    That is me loving too much, after reading your advice, I feel guilty and started feeling about the other person, how terrible of me. Thank you , you help me see the other side.

  2. says: Paula

    I enjoyed this too…I think that when my b/f told me something was missing and he’s been trying very hard to figure it out but he also told me that he isn’t going anywhere. I do believe the problem is me. I’ve thought that for a while. I am too analytical, but try not to let him see that, but maybe I am inadvertently letting him see my insecurities.
    I have enjoyed reading this so far..I truly want this relationship to work, he is everything I have ever wanted.

  3. says: Matt

    Thank you for replying

    we spoke today, and I asked her if she could give me a chance to prove these things, she said that I still don’t understand, she needs to be alone to find herself, that she has been with someone since she was 14, always filing her life with another partner. She said she loves me, and misses me all the time, but she can’t be IN love right now, and if it happens in the future that’s up to fate. We spent the day together as we are still best friends, and when I got home she texted me saying thank you for talking, wonderful day, just too early to think about these things. I know the solution may seem easy, but I don’t want to screw this up, it’s so very important to me. I can wait as long as it takes, but I’m not sure how to define if it’s really worth it, or I’m just heading for extended heartbreak. I appologise for the long comment… Thank you in advance

    1. It’ll only be extended heartbreak if you put your life on “hold” or push this to happen in your timeframe. But if you live your life, doing the things that are important to you and which you enjoy (with or without her) and if you can get more days like “today” where you enjoy each other’s company with no “pressure” to get back together or even make her “fall IN love” with you, and like she says if it happens in the future that’s up to fate.

      She still loves you and misses you – PLUS you have the “best friends” advantage, don’t screw this up with your own internal pressure to “get her back” before she’s ready…